Friday, March 31, 2017

Moving On

It is the last day of March - moving swiftly into April - getting closer to Palm Sunday - Easter. Time flies - very quickly - Lent quickly passing by in front of our eyes. Winter officially over - temperatures starting to rise - daylight savings - more hours of sunshine. With better weather - more time spent outdoors - playing - golf - riding bicycles - gathering with friends - outdoor house work - planting - fertilizing. Spring has sprung - for the most part. Black soil soon to burst forth into a new green - life starting up - the cycle of life renewing itself. This is the time of year when people begin to come alive - getting more active - moving out of the house - back into the world.

As we continue through Lent - we too move into a different stage. We go from slow starts to more activity - parish missions - retreats - prayer services. In Lent the Church is getting busy - planning for Easter activities - celebration of New Life In Christ - welcoming those who are preparing for baptism - confirmation - first communion. This is a good time - to move on with purpose - to move forward - including Jesus - God - in our plans.

Deacon Dale 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

And God Created Man

There is a common error shared by many regarding the statement that - God created - Man. Many seem to think that the word man refers to the male of the species. Rather - in scripture - when that statement is read - refers to mankind. When we are told that God created man - He did not stop there. The entire process of creating humans - mankind - a two step process. First create the one - then - create the partner - making sure that - although not identical - complimentary. Therefore the creation of the genders - male - female. Similar - but different - opposites - that attract - work together - to create - basis of life. Neither alone - can procreate - neither can self inseminate - continuing the species involves - both - male - female. One - the larger - hunter - gatherer - protector - the other - smaller - the child bearer - the nurturer - caretaker - both - equal responsibility - for well being of the family unit. Men are not greater than women - women not greater than men. Shared existence - shared responsibility - together - working as one - through different ways - means - to accomplish the one goal - life.

Holy Scripture tells us that when God created mankind that He was pleased - happy with the beings - created by Him - for Him. In God's eyes - we are all good - created for good -not evil - not to compete with each other - to work with each other - to build up - not monuments to Him - the Author of Life - not monuments to ourselves - monuments to life - celebrating life as experienced - as family. This Lent we look deep inside - how well we nuture ourslves - our partner - our family.

Deacon Dale 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Great Expectations

Great Expectations is the thirteenth novel written by Charles Dickens - depicting the personal growth - development of Pip - an orphan. This is a story of poverty - wealth - opportunities - jealousy - rising above temptations - life - in a nutshell. Most of us possibly would relate to Pip - opportunities taken - missed. Our personal story - also one of youthful development - maturing into adults. We all share many common losses - gains - failures - accomplishments. Expectations placed on us by parents - siblings - teachers - employers - self. Usually the harshest critics of our development - our self. Many people beat themselves up for not achieving everything they wished for - accomplishing great skills while failing to attain the number one position.

God has expectations for each of us - on a much lower scale. He does not expect us to be the greatest doctor - teacher - musician - athlete - parent - that ever lived. He expects us to attain life - not as famous people - rather people who appreciate and live life to the fullest. Appreciating all that He offers us - smart enough to see the opportunities He places before us - to accomplish the little things in life. Being a good person - an honest friend - loyal member - faithful worshiper. His expectation for us - true followers of His Word. Celebrating life as His disciples. In Lent we seek to attain that which we need to succeed as God counts success - not as the world does.

Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Walls and Barriers I Have Met

Walls are structures designed to keep something - someone - out or in. Constructed of various materials - steel - wire - wood - concrete - cement blocks - they provide enough structure to contain or repel - various things - people. In our Arizona community each subdivision - neighborhood - surrounded by cinder block walls - six foot tall walls - most solid block - a few - iron fences - allowing a view of the desert terrain. There are many reasons for these walls - protection from desert animals - coyote - bobcats - bears - mountain lions - snakes - scorpions - nosy neighbors. For all intents and purpose - privacy the primary reason - followed secondly - safety from the danger lurking in the many Arizona swimming pools - keeping - especially - young children out. These barriers - although beneficial - a roadblock to creating relationships with neighbors. Those who cannot be seen - difficult - to communicate - build a relationship.

Jesus told us that He came to remove barriers - to tear down walls - especially - between people. Today we have a common problem - barrier - between all people - fear of the unknown - fear of gender - fear of ethnicity - fear of beliefs - fear of cultures - fear of language - fear of whatever exists - on the other side of those walls. One of our wall sections was starting to lean - Homeowners Association to the rescue - removed and rebuilt that section. A new wall - a new - renewed barrier. Lucky for us we already have relationships - with those on the other side - no barrier with them. In Lent the Church asks each of us to look - not outwards - rather inwards - to barriers that exist - between us - Jesus - God. Thankfully - Jesus - always there - hand outstretched - helping us to overcome any barrier we have - with Him - His Father. This week - this day - we pray - Lord - remove any barrier that keeps me from having the best relationship possible with you - Your Son - Amen.

Deacon Dale 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Bible Study

During Lent - one of the options that many people elect - is to join a bible study group. Gathering with people of like minds to study Holy Scripture can be very beneficial - learning what is written - who the author was - the target audience - the culture of the people of that time. On occasion - studying scripture may become very confusing - especially if someone schooled in scripture is not in the group.  Although well intentioned - errors may be introduced into the bible study - misinformation shared - faith disturbed. In these groups - best if a person who knows what they are talking about - leading the group - at least using a proven study guide.

God gives us many tools in order to get to know Him - His Son. Learning words alone - does not guarantee legitimate education. There is also a difference between head knowledge - heart knowledge. Many people trained in scripture study - know only the words - may be able to quote chapter - verse - without fully understanding the real meaning behind the words. To best learn about God - His plan for you - how His Son relates to you - a study of the heart more than that of books. Prayer - one of the best tools in this case - developing a personal relationship - a prayer life - before delving into the written word. Faith inspires education - education fortifies faith.  In all - prayer the best tool to use.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Lent 104 - Rose Day

The Fourth Sunday of Lent - Laetare Sunday - half way through Lent - when the priest and deacon wear rose colored vestments. Laetare from the Latin - to rejoice - a happy marker in this Holy Season. Happy because this season of fasting - discipline - alms giving is half over - half way to the celebration at Easter. Changing from the typical purple/violet color to a more cherrie rose color - reminding everyone that in all seasons of life - you can find joy. As the Second Sunday when the scrutinies are observed - checking with those preparing for baptism at Easter - seeking full reception into the Catholic Christian community. 

Last week - this week - next week - from a long drawn out observance of the baptism liturgy. Reminding all that with the Water of baptism - they experience the Light of Christ - New Life - a new birth into God's family. The real focus of Lent - new life in Christ - not just for those to be baptized - also for all of us already baptized. Reminding us to celebrate the awesome gift received when we officially became children of God. 

Deacon Dale 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Who Am I - The I of God

Who am I - I am me - you - us - as an individual - I exist as I and I alone. I live my life - I choose how to act - respond. I make decisions - commitments - honor such - fail on occasion. My  intent is to live an honorable - productive life - following the rules - once in awhile - I am unable to follow through  - make mistakes - choose to do wrong. I think - speak - keep quiet - sometimes - periods of silence. No matter what I do - it is I alone who makes that decision. I am not you - you are not I - unless you choose to be the I - then I become the you. In all of this I am an individual - me - myself - I.
God created me - to be an I - an individual. He did not make me to be a copy - an alternate version of myself. As such He loves me just as I am - since He created me to enjoy my personal relationship with Him. I am His creation - I am - I worship - adore - my creator. I draw myself closer to Him - in Lent - I seek - to be found - to become all that I may be. I am I - the I of God.

Deacon Dale 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Holding Hands

Holding hands - parent with child - caregiver with patient - lovers - young and old - just dating - longtime married. Holding hands with another person is possibly one of the easiest ways to say - I care - I love you. I love to see people holding hands with each other - it reminds me that in spite of all the bad stuff in the world - there is always hope - always the chance that somebody cares. 

In Isaiah 41: 13 we read   "For I am the Lord, your God, who grasp your right hand; It is I who say to you, Do not fear, I will help you". Just as our parents held our hands when we were children - just as caregivers offer us their hands in support - just as those close to us - spouse - children - lover - holds our hands in times of need - so to does God. As we slowly work our way through Lent - Jesus - is there - offering you His hand - helping to guide you through this Holy Season.

Deacon Dale 

Thursday, March 23, 2017


According to the dictionary a partner - person who takes part in an undertaking with another or others - especially in a business with shared risks - profits. Selecting a partner takes time - patience - developing a relationship - learning to trust - establishing ground rules - operating under the same ideals - goals. Many business ventures fail due to poorly thought out - created - partnerships. Rushing into a partnership - failing to properly plan - poor communication - sets the stage for failure. Many marriages - relationships - a partnership. Following some basic ground rules - keeps lines of communication open - ensures a long lasting partnership.

When Jesus enters our lives - He offers us a chance to become partners - in our future. How we will live - control - manage our lives - relationship with special others - with God - number one priority. As in all partnerships - failing to plan - planning to fail. All relationships must be well established - thought out - nurtured - in order to survive. The time we invest in our partnership - one of the best investments we can make. Jumping in - both feet - whole heart - becoming one hundred percent involved - the right way to proceed. Even if you have not yet begun to focus your life on Lent - there is still plenty of time. Make a commitment - now - with God. Join His team - Jesus waits - to be your partner. 

Deacon Dale 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Taxing Times

It is mid March and high time to get working on the yearly income taxes - a much dreaded task. I know some of you have already received and spent your tax refunds - then there are those - like me - who wait until the end gets close.  I have always done my own personal taxes and as much as I hate doing them - would never think of paying somebody else to do a task that I can do myself.  There are so many good tax preparation programs available these days - should be a simple task for most. It amazes me - the number of people with only a W-2 and claiming the standard deductions - who pay others to do their annual taxes. Perhaps the whole concept scares them - dealing with the government - making an annual recap of income and expenses.  Perhaps one day - tax time will be eliminated - a straight tax - equitable deductions for all - weekly - monthly deductions from paychecks - would bring relief to a very large number of people. Until that time - a task to be completed.
It is not only the annual income tax reporting that creates taxing times for people. Money - a big issue - relationships - with family - friends - neighbors - God - another. So many different issues with which to contend - cope - solve - improve.  Relationship issues - often much greater than money.  How we relate to each other - how we speak - think - act - respond - depends a lot on emotions - versus facts. When overly emotional - excited - angry - communication comes to a halt - progress stops - situation develops. As with all things worth doing - improving our relationships - a top priority. In Lent we seek to work on our relationship with God - His Son - Jesus - The Holy Spirit. We are asked to go to a quiet space - to focus our complete attention on the - Divine. Although difficult for many - a task that is possible - with eyes - ears - open wide - hearts open to the impossible - minds ready to accept the unbelievable. In quiet meditation - contemplation - your relationship with God - need not be - a taxing time.

Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Dancing With The Stars

Dancing With The Stars is a very popular television show - well trained dancers partnering with various celebrities in an effort to win the dance competition. Some celebrities - much more celebrity than dancer.  Some are awesome dancers - others - not so much. Last night Chicago Cubs fans got a peek at former Cubs catcher David Ross as he attempted to convey his 2016 World Series home run hit into a world class score on the dance floor. It will take a few weeks to see how well he sustains last night's performance. For the average guy or gal - dancing with the stars - a real treat.

When God enters your life He takes control - guides you across the dance floor of life. There will always be dips and twirls - slow baby steps - fast tippy toe movements - as you adjust to your new relationship with Him. As you grow and evolve in your relationship with Him - you will quickly learn that His moves are smooth - gentle - helping you constantly along the way. Dancing with God - you have to let Him take the lead - He knows all the best steps - steps to move you from where you are to a better place in life. What better way to observe Lent - than dancing your way into God's heart.

Deacon Dale 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Dinner Date

One of the pleasures of adult life is the - dinner date - taking your special companion out for dinner - just the two of you - together - alone as a couple. The two of you sharing a special time - together - at a favorite - new - restaurant - eating favorite entries - exploring - new menus. Perhaps an evening celebrating a special event - an anniversary - birthday - new job - promotion - date night - away from work - kids - spending needed time alone as a couple. All couples need a time of respite - time away from obligations - rediscovering each other - reconnecting as individuals.

Jesus loves dinner dates - especially when it is just the two of you - Him - you - together - gathered around His table - altar - sharing bread - wine - Mass - celebrating His gift to you - the world - to all who call Him Lord. Unlike other couples - you can meet Him on a daily basis - always there waiting for you.  As we continue in Lent - as we pray - fast - we look forward - in these special days - when we can share His meal - together.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Lent 103

The Third Sunday of Lent - Water Divine - a precious resource - available to all - for free - unless you buy it bottled. Water rains freely from the sky - anyone may collect it - use it - drink it - bathe in it. Our bodies are 50% - 60% water - the rest is all the good things - bones - muscles - fat -brain tissue.  Although seen as insignificant - we cannot live with out water. We can skip meals - avoid food - but we can only last so many hours without water - before serious damage sets in.  Water is the oil - grease in our joints - the liquid that lubricates our eyes - makes tears - aids digestion - controls our inner furnace - fuels the thermostat of our bodies. It is so important - divinely inspired - that we use it constantly in our daily lives.  In our spiritual traditions - water - used to cleanse - baptize - purify - wash away sins - impart blessings - nourish our spirits - souls. 

For the people of God - water gushed forth from rocks in the desert - saved the people fleeing Egypt - washes away impurities - sins - prepares one for prayer - to name a few. Water is an important element in many religious practices. In Lent - specifically the Third Sunday - water points to the baptism of converts to be celebrated on Holy Saturday when they will be baptized at the Easter Vigil Mass. Water - one of three major focuses in Christian baptism.  As we begin our third week of Lent - we who have been baptized - reflect on what our baptism means to us. For those looking forward to baptism at the Easter Vigil - the focus is on hope - a new life in Christ.

Deacon Dale  

Saturday, March 18, 2017

A Rose By Any Other Name...

Frequently quoted - a rose by any other name would smell as sweet - from William Shakespeare's - Romeo and Juliet - is taken to imply that no matter what you would call a rose - it would still have the same aroma - pleasing smell. Juliet - in defense of Romeo's name - stating that the name of a person or object - does not define the characteristics - qualities - of anyone or thing.  On this point Juliet is correct - after all - a name is simply a name.  It takes years - decades - for a name to become common enough that certain characteristics are implied by a name.  When Shakespeare first wrote Romeo and Juliet - it was simply a new play - to be attended - investigated - critiqued - enjoyed - at that time - no significance - importance. Four hundred and some years later - Romeo and Juliet - a classic tale of love and tragedy - a name known around the world.

God not only knows how many hairs are on our heads - our name as well - each and every one of us. There may be millions of people - but each is significant - important - to God. We may share names with other people - no two people are identical - even among twins. When we come to God - He knows exactly who we are - what we are about - what we need. He waits for us to speak - quietly - gently - giving us time - to ask - to receive. In Lent - in the quiet of our hearts - dare to speak your name to God.

Deacon Dale 

Friday, March 17, 2017

Wearing Green

Saint Patrick's Day - time for  the wearing of  the green - showing your Irish pride - ancestry - genealogical roots - connecting to Irish ancestry.  Unfortunately the only green shirt I have - not in the laundry - says "Italia" not "Ireland" so could not wear that today.  Acknowledging that today is Saint Patrick's feast day - not a requirement to wear green. 

Today everyone wants to be Irish - to have an excuse to celebrate - gather with friends - with food - drink - joining together as one - enjoying life. That is as it should be - holiday not required - saint or not - people should be gathering every day to celebrate - life - the possibilities that exist - when two or more are gathered. God asks us to celebrate His creation every day - even during Lent.

Deacon Dale 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Tearing Down Walls

Last year our Home Owners Association in Arizona sent out a request for homeowners to notify them if they had any issues with property cared for by the association. We have a cinder block wall that surrounds our home and the majority of it is cared for by the association. I notified them that I thought there was an issue with one section which seemed to be tipping inwards toward our property. They finally responded - after 10 months - that they would look into this issue.  Happy to report they were out in a matter of a few days to inspect the wall from our side - the community side had been inspected last October.  The decision - tear down a twenty foot section and rebuild at no cost to us. Now we wait and see when this will be done - as we wish to be here during that process - either April this year or January 2018.  When they do the work they will remove the wall - block by block - tearing it down to its foundation - then rebuilding - back up six feet.  The entire work to be done will be completed easily in one day - hopefully straight in line with the remainder of the existing wall.

As we journey  through Lent we are asked to examine our lives - to see where we have built walls - keeping others out - locking sins in - putting up barriers to our relationship with God. Time heals all things - so we are told - and in time - most things are healed.  Unfortunately some will not live long enough for time to do its work. As we spend time in prayer - meditation - we need to look inward first - at our lives - our relationships - our walls - before we can start the process of restoration - tearing down - building up. Removing barriers in our lives should be simple - one of  the most complicated tasks known to man. Attitudes - feelings - past history - often confuse the real issues.  Through prayer - patience - perseverance - walls can be torn down - removed - opening us up to everything hidden on the other side.  Need help - ask Jesus - He is awesome at removing - healing all barriers.

Deacon Dale 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Barking Dog

Although the Barking Dog is a great name for a doggie daycare center - a barking dog may very quickly become a nuisance.  I know - I have a dog who loves to bark. Bark to go outside - bark for food - bark to warn when somebody is on our property - bark when his canine cousins come to visit - and almost any other reason he can find to bark. I cannot allow myself to be angry at his barking - that is how dogs communicate. Sure they sit at your feet and beg with those big loving eyes - sometimes they cruise over to you and ask you to scratch their back side - and yes - rolling over on their back so you can scratch their tummy - yes that is all legitimate communication with you -  their best friend. To many people - barking dogs are a pain - no time to accept them for who they are - what they are trying to communicate - only anger at a sound  they cannot understand.

Sorry I Only Speak Dog 

To many people - when Christians talk about God - Jesus - Holy Spirit - Bible - Holy Scripture - accepted with as little understanding - respect - as for a barking dog. Confused by - Church Speak - Salvation - Confession - Forgiveness - New Life - Living Water - Heaven - Hell - nothing more than yapping puppies around the food bowel. For those of us - guilty of Church Speak - patience - demanded if we are to share  the Good News of Christ. Lent gives us that time - to hone our skills - to speak clearly about  that which we have received - to speak in Love - with patience - that all who have ears might hear - the Good News.

Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Who Is Billy Baker?

So I ask again - who is Billy Baker? No one that I know personally - I recently ran across an article he wrote - Read Article - all about middle aged men. No - it was not about religion - spirituality - fathering - rather about loneliness. According to this gentlemen - men - specifically middle aged men - so overwhelmed with work - family - children - responsibilities - have no time for themselves. At one point in his article - click "Read Article" above  - he mentioned how women can maintain healthy long distance relationships with their female friends via a phone call - whereas men -  not particularly fond of long phone conversations - cannot. He also mentioned that when women talk to each other - they do so face to face - men on the other hand - stand side by side - looking out at the world together. My wife constantly tells me to look people in the face when I talk to them - I am guilty of also doing the side by side conversation thing - a bad habit I picked up years ago while working in the pharmacy - one eye on the computer - task at hand - while fielding questions from patients standing on the other side of the prescription counter - usually at an angle away from me. Bad habits are hard to break - but - in time - hopefully they do go away.
In Lent Jesus - God asks us - men and women - to take time out of our busy lives to talk with Him - face to face - not side by side. Jesus wants to look into our eyes - into the windows of our hearts - to let us know that He sees much deeper into our souls that we can ever imagine. He does it gently - not judging - seeking to heal our troubles - issues - buried deep within. He cannot do this while you are texting - talking on a phone - driving your vehicle - your complete attention is required. This Lent - give yourself a gift - spend some quiet time - alone with Jesus. Go to your prayer closet - sit quietly in Adoration - before the Blessed Sacrament - light a candle - focus your attention - on the Light of Christ. You will find Him - buried deep inside your soul.  Just like Billy Baker - God is real - and is waiting to form an everlasting friendship with you - where you will never be lonely.

Deacon Dale  

Monday, March 13, 2017

Wearing Thin

I must be getting old - reading news articles that make my blood boil -  When did it become acceptable to take others to task for doing what is normally done and socially acceptable. I am referring to a  group of American youth who while attending a sporting event at their school - chose to wear red- white - blue items on what was promoted as - USA - day. Some uninformed - uneducated - teachers from the very school that sponsored the event forced the youth to apologize to the guest school at the competition -  because - that school has students who are refugees. I am sorry but in my dictionary a refugee is someone who has escaped from a place - location - group - which professed - practiced things - which harm those who lived there - residents who - escaped - to the - USA - where they would no longer be oppressed - allowed to live their lives as they chose - freely. For the host school to wear red - white - blue - is more a sign of welcome - support - as opposed to exclusion.  After all - if the refugees were not welcome at that competition - why would they be there in the first place? How does wearing a shirt that proclaims - USA - exclude anyone? As a person who has traveled to many foreign countries - and actually talked with the ordinary people who live there - more than once - have I heard - we love the USA - we love the American flag - they offer us hope - welcome - security - a chance at a better life. So some American teachers think their students are oppressive.  Perhaps they need to think - by their actions - how oppressive they have been not only to their very students - but to those who were invited to the competition. By saying NO to red- white - blue - they have proclaimed that this is NOT for everyone - that the USA does not welcome refugees - foreigners to our soil.

God calls us to be His people - not just Americans - not just Polish - not just Italian - not just German - not just Syrian - etc.. In our diversity of cultures we share the beauty of all God's creation only when we openly - freely share what we have with others. If - we have more - we share - that is what being Christian - American - is all about. It is our legacy as followers of Christ - to go among all the people of the World - to share - our faith - our lives - our school events - to all who will walk through our doors. In Lent we need to stop and ask ourselves - do I welcome all - and if not - why not?

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Lent 102

Today we celebrate the Second Sunday of Lent - our focus on the Transfiguration of Christ before His disciples. This event not only confused - but also scared - His disciples. Who was this man - who changed before their eyes - did amazing things - unseen by others. I can imagine that you and I would be just as confused - concerned - wondering just what was going on before our eyes - and why. I doubt any of us would just say - oh - a miracle from God - rather - slowly inch away - waiting to see what followed. 

God does not expect us to blindly accept everything that happens right in front of our eyes - there are those who would deceive - manipulate what was happening. That is a lot of what is happening right now in world politics - people - misleading - misinterpreting events - to draw us into their mindset - to make us believe - their truths. Today we heard in the Gospel - watch and listen - great advice for each of us. Using our days of Lent to read - listen - ponder - think - reflect - will bring us to the truth - which is Jesus.

Deacon Dale 

Saturday, March 11, 2017


For many people - Lent is a giant period of counting the days - hours - minutes - until Lent is over. Sadly - so many people fail to recognize the gift of Lent - seeing it as a burden - an intrusion on their daily life. Rather than using these 40 days - to slow down - reflect - take time - to focus on themselves - their focus is on the world and all around them. They see what they are giving up - not what they are gaining. They see bondage to rule - not the freedom offered by meditation - contemplation. Day after day -  they mark their calendars - one less day to endure the discipline of Lent - missing those blessings poured upon them by a loving God.
Jesus spent 40 days in the desert - fasting - praying - not for Himself  - for each of us. He walked in the desert - freeing Himself from the world around Him - to focus on us - our futures - our lives - in the world. What He gave up - He never lost - what we gained - everything freely because of Him. In Lent we countdown only those days left until we celebrate Easter - savoring our Lenten days as the gift they are.

Deacon Dale 

Friday, March 10, 2017

Meet Less

During the Fridays of Lent - Catholics are asked to fast and abstain from meat. To go meatless - substituting fish - vegetables - anything - in place of meat. As they give up meat on these fast days - they are encouraged to offer this sacrifice - as a sign of penance - reflecting instead on their life and what abstaining means to them.  Fast days are asked of us by the Church so that we may empty ourselves - making room in our lives for God - His presence - His Son - His Holy Spirit. When our lives are filled with everything else - when our day is consumed by worldly things - we will deprive ourselves of being able to meet our Lord - to be meet less - with Him.

Jesus asked all to come to Him - especially all who were hungry and thirsty.  He did not specifically mean those whose bellies were void of food or drink.  He meant those who lacked the real substance of life - that which would nourish  them forever - into the next life. He called those hungry for the Word of God - those thirsting to drink at His fountain of salvation - those seeking New Life - in God. As we pray - fast - give alms - during Lent - we open ourselves to His presence. We meet Him in the emptiness of our souls. In Lent we wish to experience more of Jesus - not less.  Jesus calls each of us by name - wiling to meet us exactly where we are - exactly as we are. He does not want to meet less - He seeks more.

Deacon Dale 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Focal Point

When one sets out on a quest - hunt - task - they set their sights on one or more goals. Keeping themselves focused they attempt to accomplish whatever goal - task was in mind. All goes well as long as they stay focused. However - once distracted - eyes off the target - things often do not go as planned. A doctor loses focus during surgery - distracted - a slip of the scalpel - a cut not intended - minor error - critical wound. In some things a slight distraction only causes a slight issue - others - like the doctor example - life threatening. Best practice - learning how to stay focused - until task completed.

Jesus never waived - never lost focus of His mission - to do the Father's Will - to proclaim the Good News to all the people. His focus - New Life - Salvation. As we journey through these days of Lent we also need to keep our focus - not lose sight of the task at hand. If we persevere - hold fast - not lose sight of our goal - we too will achieve what we seek.

Deacon Dale 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Eye Candy

According to - Eye Candy is slang meaning someone or something that is visually attractive or pleasing but is usually considered to lack worth or merit. An example might be an automobile priced at $249,00 which a majority of people could never afford and being realistic - does nothing more than any normal vehicle  - that would take you from point A to point B for $225,000 less. Vehicles such as this become nothing more than Big Kids Toys - things obviously meant for only the very wealthy.

Anyone can appreciate the beauty around them - appearing naturally in nature - in hand crafted pieces of art.  When that beautiful object become the sole focus in our lives - something has gone wrong. Although available for us to admire - nothing to lust after. Man - woman - machine - art - all offer temporary pleasure. The real object of our focus should be our relationship on Jesus - on God.  In Jesus only will our souls find peace - rest - true pleasure. Knowing that we are known - loved - by the Author of Life - much more pleasing than earthly pleasures. In this Lent we refocus our eyes on the real treasures placed before us. Our eyes seek that which is beyond ordinary beauty - we gaze upon the Mystery - the reality that is God and His plan for our life.

Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Making Yourself Great Again

All of us entered  the world the same way - naked - innocent - crying our heads off. For most of us we have grown beyond those initial assaults on our lives. Over the years we have learned - acquired - knowledge - skills - to help us through our lives. Unfortunately some of what we have learned has not always been the best - worthwhile - knowledge.  Foul language - learning how to lie - becoming skilled in deception - to mention just a few - not something of which we should be proud. Those are the things - we seek to eliminate during our Lenten exercises. Like dust bunnies that cling to our souls - we seek to brush them from ourselves. 
Jesus is our role model when we seek to attain holiness. He who was without sin is our guide - mentor - in how to recreate the lives we were initially blessed with. No matter what shape our present life is in - it can become great again - if we only try.  Focusing our eyes on Jesus - reading His Gospels - going deep into understanding His teachings - then adopting them as our own - will give us the tools to achieve holiness for ourselves. Try you must - for to be great as your Heavenly Father intended - takes work.  Time to buckle down.

Deacon Dale 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Holier Than Who?

OK - let's admit it - those who are always at church - always praying - always talking about their relationship with God - may come off as - holier than thou. The thou - meaning you - yourself. It is not unusual for people to talk about - those - people - gossiping about how many hours - how many devotional practices - how often they are seen - on their knees - in prayer. There is no justification for this kind of criticism - spoken in angry tones - shared with others who hold the same attitude.  In fact - it is none of - your - business - how - they - pray - how often - they - take time out of - their - day to practice - their - devotions. Guilt and justification for your lack of a prayer life - the most common motivator. Everyone has to acknowledge - realize - that a person's prayer life - relationship with God - is theirs and theirs alone. No two people are expected to have the same prayer - spiritual - life. If that were true - we would all be robots - blindly doing the exact same thing.

Just because we have been created in the likeness of God - does not make us God. On the contrary - we are very far from gods ourselves. Psalm 8 tells us that we were made a little less than a god - the difference is our tendency to sin - to do things that separate ourselves from God. Gossip is one - being uncharitable towards others - another. When we look at one's level of holiness - it should be our own level and no other's that we look at. Each of us is called to holiness - to a closer relationship with God. Each of us is an individual and as such - is expected to meet similar but different standards. You cannot put everyone in the same class - category - box. We attain holiness in many and various ways - through different - but similar - devotions. In this Lent when  you reflect on your life - ask your self - holier than who - yourself!  Have you grown over the past year spiritually - have you finally mastered that one sin that separates your from God - are your truly holier than YOU.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Lent 101

Today marks the First Sunday of Lent - Lent 101 - the basics of Lent - the rules - regulations - opening comments - as we begin our observation - participation - in this season of reflection - meditation - inspection - of our lives. In this time we are asked to look deep - inside ourselves - past the obvious - to that which is hidden - in the closets of our hearts - minds.  To look at  those things that we have neatly tucked away - stored - not the first things we like to revisit. The obvious sins - missed opportunities - activities - actions - those of which we are not proud. It is not an easy task to accomplish - nor one to which we look forward - but - must we will.  Thankfully Lent lasts six weeks - enough time to start small - to begin slowly - to give us the time and energy to accomplish all that we must.

Only God has the patience to wait on us - each of us - granting us the time needed to review our lives and actions. He does not expect us to change - correct - faults in a single day - so He waits patiently. For one day with God is like a thousand and a thousand as one day. In these Lenten days we are called - to use that time wisely - gaining for ourselves - along the way - holiness.

Deacon Dale 

Saturday, March 4, 2017


A fixie refers to a fixed gear bicycle - one gear - sweet - simple. Uncomplicated biking. With a  fixie you avoid the confusion of which gear you should be using - up hills - over rough terrain - cruising - at leisure. Most people who own bikes with multiple gears -admit they rarely use all the gear combinations - rather settle into a routine - selecting perhaps six out of eighteen combinations available. Keeping life easier - especially on long bike rides.

In Lent the Church asks us to do something similar - strip away the excess - avoid the unnecessary - simplify.  For those who give up things during Lent - eliminate unnecessary projects - strip away time wasters - Lent becomes easier. In this time of less things - less projects - more time to focus on self - on Jesus - on God. This Lent why not get a "fixie" for yourself - in your daily routine - strip away everything that is not mandatory - see what God will reveal to you.

Deacon Dale 

Friday, March 3, 2017


Abstinence is the self-enforced restraint from indulging in bodily activities that are generally experienced as giving pleasure. Catholic across the world and other religious expressions practice avoiding specific foods during designated holy days. For Muslims - fasting during Ramadan - for Catholics - fasting and avoiding meat on Ash Wednesday and Fridays of Lent. Many other religions also observe fast days along their specific guidelines. It is not unique to one religion or another - exact restrictions and times do differ among them.

The entire idea of fasting is to empty oneself of earthly desires - creating room - time - in ones life for filling the inner spirit.with thoughts of the Divine. As you hunger and thirst for earthly foods and drink - one is reminded that their inner spirit needs to be nourished as well. The emptiness felt in the stomach mirrors the emptiness of ones spirit. The goal through fasting is enlightenment - spiritual growth - touching the Divine. It may not always be easy - end the end - always rewarding.

Deacon Dale 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Yakity Yak

According to the Urban Dictionary Yakity-Yak is catching up on everything - nothing important. Some would call it blabber - senseless talking - conversation that seems to never end.  At Mass yesterday we arrived early enough to find a seat - to prepare ourselves to celebrate the Mystery of Holy Mass - begin our Lenten devotion for this year. Not all in the pews were so disposed - especially the two ladies directly behind us. From the time we arrived until Mass began - endless yakity-yak. Some might call it gossip - a sin? - others - just two old women doing what old women do.  At a minimum they were renewing a friendship - in their own way - preparing for the Lenten season - in their way.

God calls us all to reflect on our lives in Lent - some will do so in a very quiet - private manner - at home - in the adoration chapel - complete non verbal communication with self - with God.  Others - more verbal - audible conversations with self - God - everyone around - within hearing - sharing stories - disappointments - achievements - spiritual growth. Each of us is an individual - each will have their own way in how they observe the Lenten season. Some will go to great extremes - others barely taking the time - to touch the Divine. This is OUR Lent - we are called not to be great - we are called not to be powerful - we are all called - to holiness.  How you accomplish this will be different from how others do - all ways are right - OK - as long as the focus is on Jesus - His GIFT - His LOVE - His FORGIVENESS.  May God Almighty bless YOUR Lent.

Deacon Dale 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Burning Bridges And Other Objects

Burning bridges in common terms - breaking ties with others - making a distinct - permanent break in a relationship. Most often - advised - not to burn bridges - never knowing if - when - that particular relationship might be desired again - in the future.  In many facets of life - heeding the warning not to burn a bridge - good advice. Today - observing - Ash Wednesday - the beginning of Lent - we are asked to make an important decision - which bridge to cross - which to burn. Some may lead us closer to God - to a deeper relationship with Our Lord - others - leading us into sin - away from God - away from righteousness. 

In this holy period of Lent - the Church - God - gives us time to reflect on who we are - where we are going - what we have made of our lives - what we have become. Are we a person of love - or hate? Do we forgive and forget - or remember and brood? Have we collected things in our daily lives that tempts us - leads us into sin - or have we brushed our hands clean of that which is contrary to God's plan. In forty days - we will evaluate each of our lives. Will we burn bridges and contacts - things that diminish the person God wants us to be - or will we rise like the Phoenix - from the ashes - to a New Life in Christ? In forty days - we will know.

Deacon Dale